This new wine experience in Dallas’ Preston Center will change the way you taste, drink and buy wines
There’s no sign yet, but you’ll soon spot the transformation of a tony corner of Preston Center into one of Dallas’ most extraordinary wine buying experiences.
The folks behind the well-stocked cellars at Sixty Vines and Haywire restaurants will soon launch a wine destination that combines shopping, lounging, socializing, tasting, dining and education – all in a single, 7,000-square-foot retail shop. The store will occupy the southwest corner of the Berkshire Court building at Preston Rd. and Northwest Hwy.
FB Society, the shop’s owners, haven’t yet settled on a name, but they’ve nailed down the niceties: More than 1000 different wines — all available to taste or to purchase by the bottle — offered in an atmosphere that concept CEO Jena Barker says will feel cozy, sophisticated, adventurous, irreverent and helpful. The store will also include a wine school, a private lounge and a daily, small-plate menu.
“We want this to be a social experience, like shopping with your friends,” says Barker, a certified sommelier and WSET wine expert who is studying for an advanced certification in Champagne.
Rather than segregating the wines by grape type or region then displaying them on wire racks, Barker says the wines will be arranged on tables, in nooks outfitted with comfy seats for lounging (or sipping) and displayed in ways that feel more residential than retail. Certified sommeliers will be on hand to help guide you if you need a hand; tell them what appeals to you—white or red? light and jazzy? big and bold?—then allow them to pour a few samples from their rotating collection of 1000-plus bottles.
“We can talk to you about wine from wherever your experience is,” Barker says. “If you like fruity sweet wines, we’ll start there. I’ll take you to those wines and give you as much or as little guidance as you want. We’ll help you explore those and then also show you what else is out there.”
The store will keep a running tally of everything you try or buy so you can refer back to that list over time. “The whole idea is to explore and learn,” Barker says.
The entire inventory will be available to sample in one-ounce, two-ounce and five-ounce pours, which Barker says will be priced relative to the cost of the specific wine. Expect bottles of wines to range in price from $18 to several thousands for a highly allocated prize label.
Somms will hand-pour different wines each day; the rest will be available by Coravin or through the same kind of automated dispenser system employed at FB Society’s Vinotopia wine bar at Legacy Hall.
“You can walk into any number of wine retailers and buy a bottle of wine, but nowhere else is going to be like this,” says Barker “Our prices will be comparable to other retailers, but the experience will be far more elevated and welcoming. We want you to taste wines, meet winemakers, eat some great food and learn about wines at the same time.”
Barker sums the concept this way: “Where else can you go with your friends to taste a dozen wines you pick from a cellar of more than a thousand different labels? You’re not even going to do that in a restaurant. What we’re building is the new way to buy wine.”